V is for VERY

[My middle daughter, Kyra, and I are continuing our commitment to blog all the way through the alphabet.]

Absolutely, positively, totally EVERYTHING is so completely over-emphasized these days, it’s just completely unbelievable — in fact it’s the most unbelievable thing EVER!!!!!!!!! It’s a total and complete drag and if it doesn’t change I’m gonna die!!! Seriously, it’s the worst thing in the world.

Doesn’t this get tiresome? I wonder where this comes from. It seems to me like maybe a combination of the media and the fact that we are an increasingly connected society, and so everyone is clamoring to be heard over all the noise.

Media definitely contributes. When is the last time you watched a TV commercial that said, “Hey, sorry to bother you — we just want you to know we have a sale going on. But no hurry. We’ll keep it going for a while, and then after this one is over we’ll start another one. Our bottom line prices really never change all that much. See ya when we see ya.”

When I was growing up TV shows were TV shows. Now they are “two hour TV EVENTS” (minus 45 minutes of commercials, which seem to be getting increasingly louder). I guess they are two hour sitting on your butt eating junk food and watching TV events. Of course in the age of cable and satellite even the TV networks have to scream for your attention.

Look no further than CNN. CNN exists to report the news 24 hours a day. But there are some problems involved. First is that there isn’t enough interesting stuff to keep the show going 24/7 so they have to create news by making something out of nothing. Remember SARS and West Nile virus? Second is that there isn’t enough interesting stuff to keep the show going 24/7 so they have to embellish the news by bringing on “analysts,” “pundits,” and “experts.”

There are just too many words, being said too loudly, by too many people, using too much needless emphasis. Perhaps this blog (or any blog) is part of the problem. Just a thought.

If you’re not a spiritual person, then you might wish to stop reading here. But if you are spiritual, this problem does have spiritual implications. Jesus stated that we should simply let a yes be a yes and a no be a no and that anything else comes from “the evil one.” There is no end to the clamor for attention. Guarantees, promises, deadlines, urgency, etc., are really all just ways of manipulating people, trying to cajole them into doing what they might not want to do otherwise. Jesus understood the irony that there is a lot to be said for simplicity of speech, and the desperation that our clamoring reveals. It reveals a fundamental lack of faith in God, from whom all things really come. We do not need to angle or manipulate others. If churches actually look this idea seriously, most of them would be completely different places than they are.

But I know I have been guilty of it: spending a great deal of time trying to drum up the catchiest possible titles for my posts and falling, sometimes pretty hard, into sensationalism. After all, I write so that people will read. I want readers and I want them bad. This to simply say that I know how tempting that feels and I can only imagine how hard it must be when millions of dollars are up for grabs.

It is hard to live as a deeply principled person in this world. It is very hard. It is  incredibly, amazingly, impossibly, ridiculously, hard. It’s so hard I’m going to puke.

Read Kyra's V post

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  • Kim Nebel

    this brings to mind for me, the value of retreats, be they group or personal.